Learn the steps you can take to improve your home’s BER rating that can result in lower energy bills, better home sustainability and added value to your home.
BER stands for Building Energy Rating and label given to homes to rank their energy efficiency and the estimated cost of energy bills. The rating is done on a scale from A to G - A being the most energy efficient and G being the least.
When buying or selling a home or trying to reduce costs and improve your sustainability, the BER is a good indicator of how much improvement is needed. The good news is you don’t have to write off homes with a low score. There are ways to improve BER rating.
Improving your rating could result in a substantial reduction in your monthly heating and electricity bills. It will also make your home more desirable should you wish to sell it.
There are a number of ways to improve the rating of your home. These include:
Insulation can greatly improve your rating. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland says that without insulation up to 30% of the heat in your home escapes through the walls and another 30% through the roof. Though insulation can be costly, you are investing in your home, adding value, being more sustainable and reducing the cost of your future heating bills. The SEAI have a number of grants available to help you too.
Tip: Insulation can be a messy job. It’s best to install insulation when carrying out other home improvements. Before you begin check out these articles with professional interior designers: Interior Design in the Home - Where to Start?, The 7 Elements of Interior Design and Home Interior Design: Process, Budget and Possibilities.
Older windows with inefficient glazing are notorious for letting warm air escape from your home. You can use draught stripping to seal old windows to improve this or replace the windows with newer, better-rated ones. Replacing windows will have a significant effect on your heating bills.
Replace all the lightbulbs in your home with low-energy LED bulbs to save energy and money on your bills.
You should have your boiler serviced once a year at a minimum. Having your boiler serviced will improve its lifespan and efficiency keeping your home warm and could also bring the cost of your heating bills down.
Adding a lagging jacket to your water heating system will keep your water warmer for longer, saving you money on home energy bills.
You can reduce draughts in your home by replacing old vents to encourage better airflow and by installing a chimney balloon in your fireplace when it’s not in use.
Installing a renewable energy system such as solar panels to your home is a sure-fire way to improve the BER rating. Installation of these systems is expensive but the SEAI have grants to assist with the cost. Having a renewable energy system will add value to your home and will save you money on energy bills in the long term too.
Don’t heat an empty space. Set your heating to a time such as morning and evening when you are in the house.
Setting your thermostat, a degree lower can equate to almost 10% of energy savings according to the SEAI. Installing a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature can save even more and improve your BER rating.
With some changes and adjustments to your home you can improve your BER rating and reduce the cost of your energy bills.
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